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Joint Debt

Sharing responsibility with a partner can be great. When first moving in with someone it can be practical to open up a joint back account to deal with the bill such as rent , council tax  and day to day bills.

Dealing with these debts jointly can make life easier but issues can arise if there is a breakdown in the relationship between people. If one person goes back on their obligations for a joint debt it can at times fall to the other person to pay the full amount. A shock large bill can create sudden financial distress but we may be able to help you through this.

In many cases, our customers have come to us saying that they had taken out joint accounts or loans in from a previous relationship. In the event of a divorce or separation and one of you fails to make the payments, the creditor could then ask the other person who entered into the joint debt to settle the full amount and not just half as is the common misconception amongst many people.

We often have many Creditfix customers who have questions about Joint debt. This is any instance in which you have taken out a credit agreement in joint names and in such a cases you are both be liable for the full amount of any debts in the joint names.

If you feel that you had never signed up to a joint account or loan. For which a lender approaches you and says you are both liable and you feel that you are not. You should ask for a copy of the original agreement and check whether your name and signature appears on the paperwork.

Any debts that were taken out in a single name prior to entering the marriage are solely the responsibility of the person named. Your credit report will not appear on that of your partners.

However, any debts that are taken out in joint names from the commencement of the marriage. Will be the responsibility of both people who have entered the marriage. This also means that if your spouse has bad credit, this could have an adverse effect on your credit rating as well.

This is very similar to the examples that have been given previously. If the debt is solely in the name of the deceased, then it is not your responsibility to deal with the debts. However, if there is equity in any property jointly held, the creditors may put a claim on the deceased party’s share of the property for repayment of the debt.

In this instance, if you were a guarantor for the debt in question, the creditors will be able to pursue you for the outstanding debts. However, if the debts were only in the name of the deceased family member the creditors will not be able to chase you for the debts.

Dealing with debt is something that is really difficult. It is often hard in many cases to notice you are in debt. Another issue is how to tell your partner or family members. Many people suffering with debt will feel a great weight of their shoulders and feel unable to confide in others about their debts. People often feel ashamed or embarrassed and can’t find a way to let their loved ones know about their debts. We advise our customers that this sort of news is best to come from you and not given to a partner or family member by a bailiff appearing at the door.

It is best to let your partner or family members know, as often they can help you to organise and plan how to resolve your debt issues. This will help to relieve the stress on you and could prevent strain or tension arising in relationships with partners or family members.

Debt is a common issue across the whole UK, there is no reason for people to feel ashamed or embarrassed. This is something you must stress to your loved ones. They must know that they do not need to face debt alone. In the instance that your loved one is not aware how severe their debt issues are. You should collect all the information you can, this can be either creditor letters or any other information you feel will highlight the seriousness of the problem to your loved one. Creditfix is also always available for you to call when you are sat down with your loved one, we can talk you both through the options that are available to you. We have a help pack that you can download to show to your loved one which outlines how to deal with debt and what are the next steps to clear your debts.

Child maintenance is a legal obligation to provide help and support towards a child’s day to day living costs. This ensures that the child can have access to clothes and food and is paid by the parent who is not the primary carer for the child and doesn’t deal with day to day care this is paid to the primary parent.

In cases in which the parents are separated, they can arrange the child maintenance privately amongst themselves or through the Child Maintenance Service. The child maintenance service is a service offered to parents who have been unable to come to an agreement on maintenance themselves.

This is calculated on your individual circumstances. We advise that you use the government’s child maintenance calculator which will tell you the amount of child maintenance you will be obligated to pay. This will be an estimate and should never be taken as a real child maintenance amount.

More information at: Calculate your child maintenance.

If you enter an IVA or Trust Deed this will have no effect on your child maintenance. The amount that you are obligated to pay will need to be taken into account as an ongoing expense prior to working out what payments you can afford to your debt arrangement.

If you are currently in a debt arrangement and child maintenance has not been taken in to account, you will need to contact your case officer as soon as possible so that this issue can be addressed. When you advise them of this change they will need to review your arrangement and see how it effects your debt arrangement moving forward.

In regards to this with all child maintenance cases there is a £5 minimum fee regardless of the number of children that are involved in the agreement. This minimum fee is worked out in cases in which the parent’s income is between £5 and £100 and they in no way qualify for the non-payment agreement.

We advise our customers that in this instance they must contact the Child Maintenance Service immediately to inform them that an issue has arisen and that you are unable to make the child maintenance payment. You must also disclose with them the reasons as to why you are unable to make the payment, such as job loss.

Child maintenance is an obligation you have to pay, it is similar in this way to council tax and other utilities. You must make payment of such a debt as priority, therefore anyone who is unable to make the payment should contact the Child Maintenance Service and see what support they can offer to help you make your obligated payment.

In instance that you have not made you child maintenance payments you can be chased for your arrears. CMS chase arrears in the following way:

  • They can place a wage arrestment on the parent’s earnings
  • Money can be taken from benefits
  • In what is called a deduction order, they can take money from a building society or bank account.
  • Often they can appeal to the courts for a liability order, if this is accepted it can be passed to the bailiffs to deal with.
  • They can raise a charging order on your property which can lead to a forced sale of your property and then the money will be used to pay off your child maintenance.

The Child Maintenance Service can also appeal to the High Court to stop you from selling your property and can also prevent you from transferring ownership of any assets if it can be proved that this was done with the intention not to pay child maintenance.

Do you have unmanageable debt? Call today and find out how we can help.